widely known as an Abstract Expressionist and Color-field painter and selected by Time Magazine as one of the "100 most important artists in the United States in 1964" was born in Cortland, New York in 1917. He studied at Syracuse University, New York, earning a Hiram Gee Fellowship in 1940, the year he received his BA degree. From 1941-1945 he served in the US Army. After returning to this country he studied at the New School for Social Research, New York University where he received his MFA degree, the Ozenfant School of Art, and the Hans Hoffman School of Art. Goodnough was employed as critic for Artnews from 1950-51 and acted as Secretary for Documents of Modern Art, New York, a symposium for First General Abstract Expressionist Painters. He also taught art at New York University, 1953; Fieldston School, Riverdale, 1953-60; and Cornell University, Ithaca, 1960.
Goodnough is the recipient of the Ada S. Garrett Prize, Art Institute of Chicago, 1961 and the Ford Foundation Prize, 1963. He received a National Council of the Arts Grant, National Institute of Arts and Letters prize, John Solomon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. His commissions include a 32' x 9' painting, Form in Motion, for the Manufacturers Hanover Trust Office on Fifth Avenue, NY, and a 200' mural in Cor-Ten steel for the Shawmut Bank of Boston, MA. His tapestry, Development With Red & Blue, 1976 was purchased for Family Court, Family and Criminal Court Building, Bronx.
Goodnough's work can be seen in major public collections throughout the United States: in New York City at The New York University Art Collection; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Goodnough began exhibiting in 1950 at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York. Since 1984 his work was seen in one-person shows in the New York area at Tibor de Nagy Gallery, 1985, 1986, 1989; The Gallery at Lincoln Center, 1987; Shippee Gallery, 1988; Greenbert-Wilson Gallery, 1990; and ACA Galleries, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1994. Goodnough has participated in group exhibitions The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX and L'Amerique aux Independents, Grand Palais, Paris, France.